Moving to Spain means moving all your family, whether they have two legs or four.
However, when moving your pets with you, it is essential to check the latest regulations and ensure you have the correct paperwork in place to ensure your four-legged friend adheres to Spanish rules.
Pet immigration rules
Pets that enter Spain must an ISO 11784/11785 compliant microchip inserted and that it has been vaccinated against Rabies at least 21 days before departure, but no more than 1 year. It is also recommended that the relevant health vaccinations for your pet are given during this time period. If your pet was vaccinated before being microchipped, they will have to be vaccinated again.
All dogs and cats entering Spain are required to have a blood test to show they are free from Rabies one month after the vaccinations and 3 months before departure.
If you’re travelling from the United States or Canada, a USDA (or CFIA) accredited veterinarian must complete the bi-lingual Annex II for Spain for endorsement by the USDA or CFIA.
We strongly recommended starting to prepare your pets 6 months before departure.
EU pet passports
European Union pet owners are now required to have pet passports when travelling. This passport includes the pet’s microchip or tattoo number for identification, as well as other data such as records of all vaccinations and clinical examinations.
When travelling, the pet owner must ensure that the rabies vaccination in the passport is valid or else renew the pet’s vaccination.
The European Pet Travel Scheme, which covers cats, dog, ferrets, rabbits and rodents, provides proof that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies. The passport also sets out details of the pet’s tick and tapeworm treatment.
The EU Pet Passport contains the following information:
Name and address of the animal owner
Description of the animal (breed, sex, age, colour)
Number of the microchip
Date of the rabies vaccination, period of validity of the vaccination, type of vaccine, name of manufacturer and production number
Address and signature of the veterinarian
Are there any restrictions?
Unvaccinated dogs and cats less than three months old may enter a EU country, but there are additional regulations that must be met.
There are no "banned" dog breeds in Spain, however, dogs considered aggressive, including Staffordshire Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Akita Inu, Tosa Inu, Rottweiler do come with additional responsibilities:
The dogs must be registered with the local council
The dog must have third-party liability insurance covering dog attacks
The dog must be on a lead and muzzled at all times in a public place
Potentially dangerous dog breeds flying into Spain must be muzzled during the post-entry check
If the dog is off the lead at home, the pet parent must make safety arrangements to ensure the dog stays within the home/garden area
If the dog is lost or stolen, it must be immediately communicated to the local authorities
All other pets (birds, invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals such as rodents and rabbits) are not subject to the regulations on the anti-rabies vaccination but may have to meet other requirements as to a limit on the number of animals and a certificate with respect to other diseases.
Before travelling, pet owners are strongly advised to seek further information from the relevant authority in their country.
Pet insurance in Spain
Pet insurance protects against unexpected vet bills in case of an injury or illness, but not all policies are the same. Below are important things to consider:
Does the policy cover all chronic, congenital and hereditary conditions?
Is there a time or price limit on treatment per condition?
How well established is the company? How is it rated?
Flying with your pets
Airlines generally insist that you use a special travelling ventilated container that allows the animal room to move and lie down.
Label your pet’s kennel carefully and prominently so it won’t get lost during transit. You’ll also need to ensure that your pet has adequate food and water for the journey.
The rules regarding approved types of containers for cats, dogs, ferrets and birds flying in the cabin or as cargo were created by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and can be found here